I'm hoping I can get some input from smart readers and bloggers who have played around with the WAR spreadsheet:
Offensive outs targets. Assuming that a team's wOBA is their OBP (a mediocre assumption), we know how many batting outs they make. Not included are outs of other kinds and outs made by pitchers in the NL. What would be a good way of measuring how many of hitting-only outs there should be per team? My idea is to take the league-average non-pitcher PAs and wOBA (OBP, by definition) for NL and AL teams from 2008 and go from there. Anything better? Anyone wan to work on that? Or is there a totally different, better way to make sure playing time estimates add up reasonably well?
- Team win baselines. A .300 team will win 48 games. AL teams are better than NL teams, on average. But NL teams compete against each other, so they still average nearly 81 wins (maybe more like 80 because of interleague play). So instead of a baseline of 48 wins, NL teams should have a baseline of 50-51 wins and AL teams should be at 45-46 wins, given 0 WAR. Also, NL teams don't have a DH to add to their offensive WAR total, but this doesn't make them a worse team (significantly). How does this effect the baseline?
Hitter replacement level. This one is tied in to #2 a bit. On one level it doesn't really matter, since the team baseline can be adjusted to make teams average out to 81 wins. Individually, I've used 2.0 WAR for NL position players and 2.5 WAR for AL position players, because it would be nice to also be able to compare projected player value across leagues once we have a community effort. Some of you have decreased those individual numbers so that the team totals looks better (i.e. lower), but I'd urge you to adjust #2 instead. Is that reasonable? Any problems with the rep level of 2.25? Any problems with weighting it 2.0 for NL and 2.5 for AL to make projecting raw stats easier?
- Pitcher WAR. The average position player is worth about 2.25 WAR over 700 PAs. Average starters (with a 4.30 ERA and 180 IP) are coming out to 2.2 WAR (NL) and 2.6 WAR (AL). I'd always thought the average pitcher was LESS valuables than the average position player. Any thoughts?
- Labeling the ERA projection. Some folks don't like using the label "ERA" because ERA is a bad stat. What you really want to use is a fielding- and park-independent ERA projection (based on FIP or tRA or something like that). Is there a better label to use or should I just better explain that part in the directions?
Also, if anyone doesn't have Excel and wants to use the spreadsheet, I recommend either OpenOffice (which contains an Excel-like application and is available for any operating system) or EditGrid (which is an online spreadsheet tool similar to GoogleDocs, but better.)
Updates: As I find good solutions to things, I'll list them here.
[PAs by lineup slot from jhmoore:]
Based on The Book’s section on lineups for NL… the AL one is negligibly higher (like 2% higher or something. Although in this run environment, lgOBP is some 10 to 15 points lower, you might want to subtract 10 from all of them or something. [Sky agrees. Also, teams with lower OBPs will have fewer PAs and teams with higher OBPs will have more PAs, although I don't think it's a huge difference.]